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House in Probate: 3 Paths It can Take

House in Probate: 3 Paths It can Take

When someone dies, the property has to go through some sort of a probate process, if it doesn’t pass on automatically via joint ownership, living trust or something other.

The general rule is, will or no will, a property has to go through probate. Probate is a legal procedure that determines how a property will be handed over. A probate house can take 3 routes. Meaning there can be possibly three things happening with a property in probate.

If you want to learn what happens when a house is in probate, follow this blog to learn more.

Property Transferred to Heirs

This happens when a decedent has left a will mentioning to whom the property shall transfer to when the owner dies. This particular probate process is called testate probate. 

In this process, the executor files a petition with probate court and set a court date. The new owner is granted the legal authority to access or administer the estate only after that date. This first process can take months. So, it’s important that you file a petition and get a court date as early as possible.

After this, the property gets conveyed to the beneficiaries who can then choose to decide whether they want to keep or sell the property.

The spouse receives the house in most cases. In some other, the children may receive the house and need to split the inheritance.

If the children are below the age of 18 years, the court typically appoints a probate guardian (often an immediate family member) who can act as the executor of the estate.

Intestate Probate

Intestate probate happens when the decedent leaves no will with names of beneficiaries. The house, if it doesn’t get transferred via a living trust, joint tenancy law, or transfer-on-death deed, the property has to go through the legal procedures of a probate court. The court generally names an immediate family member as an executor of the property.

The judge may transfer the property to surviving spouse, children, or next to kin, depending on the state’s intestate succession laws. 

Executor of the Estate Sells Property

When the decedent hasn’t named anyone in will, the executor of the estate needs to sell the probate house. This procedure varies from state to state but generally comprise of same steps.

First, the executor teams up with a real estate agent who helps him handle the transaction. Next, he orders a home inspection. Lastly, the house gets listed in the open market as any other property.

When hiring a probate agent, it is important that you hire someone with enough experience and with the right knowledge about the state’s individual laws. The right agent will have connections with vendors, contractors, and would be familiar with the nuances of probate. For instance, in probate, the payment to the vendors might be after the sale closes and not upfront.

In fact, a lot of people get pain at the end of the sales, so hiring a quality realtor is essential who has good connections with vendors and other people who plays a close part in the probate house selling.

Also, the listing agent you appoint will handle the asset or liability of the estate. This depends whether the property is loaded with equity or is in debt. 


What Happens to Personal Belongings?

An estate has a great monetary and sentimental value. So, the legal probate procedure Is designed such that the executor can’t take any hasty decision. In fact, the first hearing may take months in which you have to be present, if you are a beneficiary. 

Nothing should happen to a home if the property is going to probate. The home and the contents inside it should remain untouched until the court names an executor.

Once an executor is named, he/she will appraise the assets according to market value. The personal belongings get distributed among heirs or they get sold off. 

This is what happens to a probate house after the demise of the owner. As you see, there can be three possible scenarios that decide the future of a property in probate. Whatever it is, some sort of legal procedures always take place after a owner of a property dies. This legal procedure called probate helps in lawful distribution of the property so that no one feels left out. 


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